How to fill a large blank wall (without busting the budget!)

11/16/2016 07:30:00 am HELEN STILES 0 Comments

The problem with spending all day working on other people's interiors is that my own home is always the last to get finished. It's not that I can't muster the enthusiasm, more that I never have the time (or budget) to do exactly what I want. The large, empty wall next to our dining table is a case in point. I've endlessly procrastinated researched possible solutions without every actually implementing any of them! But to prove that said research wasn't entirely in vain, I thought I'd share my top suggestions for filling a large blank wall (on a budget!)

The wall in my dining-room is 4.5 metres wide by 4 metres high and it's visible as soon as you walk into the open-plan room. I look at it every day from the kitchen, face it whenever we eat meals at the dining table – and stare at it from the sofa. It is undoubtedly the perfect place to make a real statement. So what have I chosen to put there? Two small framed prints. Hung side by side. Not even placed cookily off-centre. Not flanked by a cool light or underlined by a fabulous bar. Just hung up. Hastily.

In my defence, I was 9 months pregnant with my second son at the time this piece of interior design genius was dreamt up (the fact it still looks the same 5 and a half years later is slightly harder to forgive). So here goes with the ideas...

Idea 1. Wall to wall print montage

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I absolutely love this image of Ben Pentreath's London living room. A vintage map of the city has been oversized and segmented into 24 individual frames. I love the way it stretches wall to wall and skirting to ceiling to totally fill the end of the room – impact and stye. You could do something similar on a reasonable budget using high street frames and your own image. You might not get quite the edge-to-edge bespoke look, but I think you could get pretty close. It does require some serious measuring (D is trying to put me off this option as he dreads having to get all the frames lined up neatly!)

Idea 2. Hang a huge painting


Art is always a great option if you have a lot of wall to fill. The challenge is a) finding one within budget and b) getting the other half to agree on it!  eBay still comes up trumps occasionally with a vintage find – its where I scored the amazing abstract pictured above a few years ago (actually it was neither within budget nor signed off by the other half, but it ended up on the other side of the kitchen anyway!) There are some great artists on Etsy and instagram too, many of whom are willing to undertake commissions and won't cost the earth.

Idea 3. Large scale photographic print(s)

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OK, so this is pretty similar to idea 2. There's plenty of Cali-cool inspiration for this type of look – beach and desert scenes are very popular, but you could of course completely change the look depending on the image you choose (I quite fancy a black and white photograph of the moon). Or maybe mix idea 1 and idea 3?

Idea 4. Oversized mirror

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A mirror is a pretty failsafe way to fill some wall space (and bounce some light around too). I can't help but love this huge train reversing mirror used by Lucy St George in her dining room (check out her home in this month's Living Etc). Antiques fairs (and even car boots) are good places to go hunting for budget-friendly options. Alas, this won't work in my kitchen as the sun would shine straight into it and either a) blind anyone sitting opposite or b) start a fire – neither of which is really the look I'm after.

Idea 5. Picture ledges

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If, like me, you’re too lazy or scared to create a gallery wall (all those nails, holes and potential for mistakes!) then picture ledges are a great and more flexible alternative. I love the way the owner of this uber-cool Dutch apartment has mixed framed prints with taped-up tear sheets, feathers and favourite textiles to create a laid-back and quirky display. Ikea picture ledges would do the trick here for very little cash!

Idea 6. Hang a rug


As I may have mentioned once or twice, I do love a Moroccan rug – hanging one on the wall would make a great feature (they’re like works of art anyway). However, I've already done this in my hallway, so not sure I can get away with it twice!

I'm sure there are plenty of other options to consider (I could probably string this research out for another 5 years at a push!) Do you have a large blank wall to fill? How have you done it? I’d love to hear (and pinch your good ideas!)e a Moroccan rug – hanging one on the wall would make a great feature (they’re like works of art anyway). I have already done this in my hallway, so not sure I can get away with it twice!

Do you have a large blank wall to fill? How have you done it? I’d love to hear (and pinch your good ideas!)
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